According to a recent survey performed by the National Association of Realtors, 87% of consumers said homeownership is part of their American Dream.
Unfortunately, nearly 25% of those consumers are not current homeowners. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the homeownership rate in the second quarter of 2016 fell to 62.9%, its lowest since 1965.
So why does this matter?
There are a number of reasons that this should be concerning.
#1, This dramatic fall in homeownership is not the choice of consumers. Many have been priced out by burdensome regulation.
#2, People are renting longer and longer and longer. This is delaying wealth accumulation that these folks would experience as owners.
#3, Local economies miss out. Once households purchase a home, they want to constantly improve. They'll move from their starter home, to the next level, to the next level. And they'll remodel, they'll mow their lawn, they'll buy products from the local hardware store. The ripple effect is significant.
#4, Community structure lags. When households establish a place they call home, they get involved in their community. Their kids go to school in the area, they volunteer with local charities, etc. Families establish roots when they own a home. Not to say that renters don't get involved, but just not in the same manner that homeowners do.
Homeownership has so many benefits for families (young and old), communities, local businesses, etc. While owning a home is not for everyone, anyone that understands the responsibility of ownership should not be forced to deal with unnecessary barriers. We may never reach the levels of 2006 (and for good reason). But a 50-year low shows that a call-to-action is absolutely needed!
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